Sunday, November 29, 2009

Assalamualaikum wrt wbt.,

I would like to share some knowledge that I've earned from a Tafseer class that I attend every weekend in Nashville Islamic Academy.

Let's look at Surah An-Nisa' (ayah 34) and go to the intricate details, word by word:

Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has made one of them to excel the other, and because they spend (to support them) from their means. Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient (to Allah and to their husbands), and guard in the husband's absence what Allah orders them to guard (e.g. their chastity, their husband's property, etc.). As to those women on whose part you see ill-conduct, admonish them (first), (next), refuse to share their beds, (and last) beat them (lightly, if it is useful), but if they return to obedience, seek not against them means (of annoyance). Surely, Allah is Ever Most High, Most Great.

- "qaama" in Arabic means "stands on", extracted from the word ﻘﻭﻤﻮﻦ early in the ayah.
- In the context of the ayah, ﻘﻭﻤﻮﻦ means "to protect", "to provide", "takes care". "Arrijaal" means "men" and "alan nisaa" means "on the women".

- So, this ayah says that men are the protector, provider and maintainer of the women. Men (husband) basically have the role of maintaining his Islamic household by providing the women (wife) either financial, physical and even emotional support in order to sustain a well-balanced family institution.

- The ayah also says that "because Allah has made one of them to excel the other". This ayah means what it actually means, which is Allah has created men with some 'extra advantages' compared to women; in terms of physical strength and emotional controllability. For example, in sports, games are even being categorized into men and women due to the different physical ability of both genders in question. At large, men are generally recognized as the leaders of the family, and also at larger scope of institution. One might refute that women nowadays have the same ability and power that men have. True. However, it is important to stress that we are speaking in generality here in the context of the ayah, in which men are generally more stronger than women in terms of physical and emotional strength. Let's eliminate any exceptions exist.

-"fassolihaat" means righteous women. The ayah then continues "qaa nitaat" which derived from the word "qunuut" which means "humble", "humility", "obedient". And "haa fi zo tun" which means "guard" and "lil ghayb" - "the unseen"

- Who are these righteous women? Righteous women in this ayah are being described as women who are obedient to Allah and to their husbands and also who guard the secrets of their marriage which includes the intimacy and the 'aib' of their spouses. A righteous woman also guards the wealth of her family as well as her children with the best of their ability. Question may rise; does this means that the responsibilities of the household fall on the women and the women only? Answer is no. Men are being held accountable to the same responsibilities women have in the household and even more. Allah has created everything in this world justly where with the strength men have, they recieved heavier responsibilities and obligations they need to meet and fulfill. So, men and women are equal in ability and responsibilities, according to the nature of strength of each being created. In this ayah also, Allah ordered the women to guard the
"qaa nitaat" and "ha fizaat lil ghayb", which is her chastity, her husband's wealth and secrets etc.

- The second part of the ayah deals with the "nusyuuzahunna" which comes from the root word "na sya za" which means "when people rises up" or "rebellion".

- This part of ayah clearly states the steps that should be made by a man (husband) if a woman (wife) is in the state of "nusyuz"/ being rebellious to the commands being subjected to them, as mentioned in the first part of the ayah. The case of "nusyuuz" among the women is not a small matter. A woman denying her responsibilities or fail to follow basically shows that she is not obedient to Allah's command, which lead to major sins and punishment in the hereafter.

- The ayah states in order, the steps to deal with "nusyuuz" : "fa'izu hunna", "wah juruuhunna" and "wadribuu hunna". It is important to do this in the order stated, where if the previous step does not work, then the one comes after is to be done next.

1) "fa'izu hunna" - men should first admonish them with love, good advices and tell them the rewards from Allah for being obedient ect.. It is important to advice them with gentleness and with "hikmah". If this does not work, do the second step.

2) "wah juruuhunna" - comes from the root word "ha ja ra" or "hijrah"- "to go away", "to escape". In this context, the husband should do "hijrah" from the wife by refusing to share bed with her which usually will affect her emotional deeply. If this does not work, the next step could be done.

3) "wadribuu hunna" - comes from the word "da ra ba" which means "to strike". Striking in this context has very strict conditions in which the strike will not leave any mark on the body, not striking on the face, and the purpose of the striking is to try to change the behavior only. This should be the last resort for the men, and should not be taken as a greenlight for them to abuse the women physically.

4) Last but not least, the next step that could be taken is to find a third person/judge; one from each family (the husband's and the wife's) to help settle things down in a fair manner. The dalil for this step is in the next ayah of the surah [4:35].

All in all, this ayah is protecting the rights of men in marriage. If we study the quran more, there are also ayahs that are revealed to protect the rights of women in marriage, in dividing the will etc.

Isn't Islam fair and just? =)

  © Blogger template 'Isolation' by 2008

Back to TOP